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Original Research

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Stem cells in ductal breast cancer: immunohistochemical expression of CD44, CD24, CD133, and ALDH-1 markers in 104 cases

  • D. Korfias1,*,
  • J. Contis2
  • M. Frangou-Plemenou3
  • K. Gennatas4
  • A. Kondis5
  • D. Vlachodimitropoulos6

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology,“Metaxa Anti-Cancer Hospital”, Piraeus (Greece)

2Department of Surgery, 2nd Surgical Clinic, Aretaieion University Hospital, Athens (Greece)

3Pathology Department, Aretaieion University Hospital, Athens (Greece)

4Department of Oncology, Athens Medical School, University of Athens (Greece)

5Department of Pathology, Athens Medical School, Athens (Greece)

6Department of Pathology, Athens Medical School, University of Athens, Athens (Greece)

DOI: 10.31083/j.ejgo.2020.01.4810 Vol.41,Issue 1,February 2020 pp.36-41

Published: 15 February 2020

*Corresponding Author(s): D. Korfias E-mail:


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the immunohistochemical expression of stem cell markers CD44, CD24, CD133, and ALDH-1 in breast carcinomas and investigate any correlation with stage, degree of tumor differentiation, cell proliferation index, and hormone receptors status. Materials and Methods: One hundred and four cases of invasive ductal breast carcinomas were studied and classified according to grade and stage, hormonal status, and C-erbB2 expression. A semi-automatic Ventana method was used to examine by semi-quantitative method the immunohistochemical expression of anti-CD133, CD24, CD44, and ALDH1 antibodies. Results: CD44, CD24, and ALDH1 markers demonstrated a statistically significant correlation with higher disease stage and triple negative cancers (94%-55.5%). CD133 correlated with triple negative cancers (55.5%). No correlation with other clinical data or tumor differentiation was observed. Conclusion: Triple negative breast cancers express specific stem cell markers responsible for cell/stroma interaction and this is a useful tool in predicting tumor progression and developing specific targeted therapies.


Breast cancer; Stem cells; CD44; CD24; CD133; ALDH1.

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D. Korfias,J. Contis,M. Frangou-Plemenou,K. Gennatas,A. Kondis, D. Vlachodimitropoulos. Stem cells in ductal breast cancer: immunohistochemical expression of CD44, CD24, CD133, and ALDH-1 markers in 104 cases. European Journal of Gynaecological Oncology. 2020. 41(1);36-41.


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